September 26, 2019
Try this Pecan Diamonds recipe from the cookbook Tartine: A Classic Revised.
With a slightly salty caramel filling on a pastry base, these nutty bites are completely addictive. Cooking the filling in a pot first and then finishing it in the oven creates a foolproof confection, yielding many for little work, making this a perfect holiday or group sweet. The filling will reflect the honey and nuts you choose — you can also try a mixture of nuts or adding a few tablespoons of sesame seeds. Instead of the cardamom here, try adding cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice. These cookies make a perfect dessert plate alongside tangerines and chocolate.
Yield: 32 1-inch (2.5 cm) diamonds
Sweet Tart Dough
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar and salt and mix on medium speed until smooth. Mix in 1 egg. Add the remaining egg and mix until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into four equal balls and shape each ball into a disk 1⁄2-inch (12 mm) thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8 by 12 inch (20 by 30 cm) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly flour your work surface. Roll out the dough into a 1⁄8-inch (3 mm) thick rectangle. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, easing it into the bottom, sides and corners and then pressing gently into place. Do not stretch the dough or the sides will shrink during baking. If the dough has become too soft to work with, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm before transferring it to the pan. If the dough develops any tears, patch with a little extra dough, pressing firmly to adhere. With a sharp knife, trim off any dough overhang, using the rim of the sheet as a guide. Refrigerate the dough until it is firm, about 15 minutes. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Check after 15 minutes; if there are any tears, patch with dough and continue baking.
- To make the filling, combine the sugar, butter, honey and salt in a heavy saucepan. Place over medium-high heat. Once the sugar reaches a rapid boil, cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the chopped nuts, cream, orange zest and cardamom, if using. Stir and return to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the baked pastry. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake until the caramel is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Turn the entire batch out of the pan onto your work surface and flip to caramel-side up. Trim the edges with a very sharp knife. Cut 1-inch (2.5 cm) rows, then cut vertically into diamonds. The diamonds will keep for 1 week, well wrapped at room temperature.
Note: Eggs can be brought to room temperature quickly by placing them in a bowl and running lukewarm water over them for about 5 minutes. Any leftover dough can be used as a simple cookie dough. This dough keeps exceptionally well, so make some for use now and freeze ready-to-roll discs of it for future use (it will keep for up to 1 month).
Note: The amount of cardamom called for is very subtle; you can use one and a half times or twice the amount if you prefer a spicier sweet. If adding cinnamon, use the amount suggested for cardamom; for allspice or nutmeg, use half the amount; and for cloves, use one-quarter the amount. If you like your caramel sweets on the salty side, sprinkle with flaky salt when they come out of the oven.
Excerpted from Tartine: Revised Edition (C) 2019 by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson. Photographs by Gentl + Hyers. Reproduced by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.